Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dancing With The Stars Power Ranking – The FADS Edition: Week 9

Well, this week on DWTS we didn't see any surprises in the contest. As I expected, Ralph Macchio and Kirstie Alley were the two "in jeopardy" celebrities and, thankfully, Chelsea did not join them. There's been a lot of debate on the ABC DWTS message boards about Ralph deserving to stay and how Chelsea (possibly) has the lowest fan votes and so she should have gone, blah, blah, blah and so forth. The truth is, both Ralph and Kirstie were the weakest of the final four, and Ralph had a bad week last week and was unable to redeem himself this week, so off he went.

The Power Rankings this week remain unchanged thanks to Ralph Macchio's loss and Chelsea's winning of the 15 bonus points. Yes, Hines did outscore Chelsea on their two full routines, but Chelsea is riding a wave, now, and I think Hines may well have peaked.

Controversy #2 (controversy #1 being judge Donny Burns's Week 7 phantom "8" vote): This season marked the first time DWTS used the infamous (according to message board posters) "Winner Take All" 15-point bonus dance. The guess here is that the show wanted to avoid the kind of controversy that followed last season's turmoil after Bristol Palin made it all the way to the finals despite some seriously sub-par dancing. Giving the judges a "wildcard" vote would ensure a better dancer got into the finals instead - or so the thinking apparently went. Unfortunately for the producers, this season the sub-par dancers happened to be the very likeable Ralph and Kirstie. And who ended up winning the 15 bonus points? Disney star (and ABC employee) Chelsea Kane. Conspiracy theorists wailed!


#1 - Chelsea Kane
I thought Chelsea did a nice job in both her routines - an Argentine Tango and a Rumba. It's come to the point, now, though, that I'm so used to Chelsea not screwing up that I don't even look for it. According to judges Carrie Ann and Len Goodman, as well as FADS pro Natasha Oreshkina, she did mess up her footwork in the first dance. Bruno Tonioli, on the other hand, thought Chelsea did fine. Go figure.

Next week it probably won't matter how well Chelsea dances. She will either have enough fan votes to take home the Mirror Ball trophy or not.

#2 - Hines Ward
Hines captured two perfect scores (30) in both his dances (Argentine Tango and Salsa). There's really no point in commenting on his performances these days. The judges have long been smitten by the always-smiling Hines and they continued with that affection on Monday night. I think of all of the contenders this season, he has been the least controversial and also the least interesting. Yes, he dances very well, but he also dances very safe. And I guess that's all he really needs to do.

#3 - Kirstie Alley
Kirstie did a nice job with both her Viennese Waltz and her Paso Doble. I was surprised that none of the judges thought to gift her with a 10, but maybe they figured she didn't need it to beat out Ralph.

#4 - Ralph Macchio
Poor Ralph. All he did was try hard and all the judges did was roast him over the coals. Bruno was especially brutal to him after his second dance, a Salsa, that had the Karate Kid wearing fanny padding. For whatever reason, it was take-down time for Ralph - who didn't appear to dance nearly as bad as the scores he got, but not well enough, just the same.


After Ralph Macchio was eliminated from the show, he walked over to be interviewed by hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke. He thanked everyone rooting for him in the audience and everyone on the show - all except, that is, the three judges. He never even looked their way. Sour grapes or just deserts?

So now we've come down to the Finals, which means there is only one FADS Power Ranking left after this one. Chelsea Kane, by rights, should win this contest. But instead, I'm thinking Hines Ward will take it all, with possibly Kirstie Alley taking 2nd place based on the audience vote, which looks to be huge.

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